CASTAGNA, Paulo & TRINDADE, Jaelson. Chapelmasters and Musical Practice in Brazilian Cities in the Eighteenth Century. In: BAKER, Geoffrey & Knighton, Tess. Music and Urban Society in Colonial Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. p.132-150. ISBN: 978-0-521-76686-9.
Abstract. In Portuguese America (now basically Brazil) an important transfer of Catholic musical practice occurred from the first years of colonization, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, but it was only in the eighteenth century that this activity reached its height, especially in the captaincy of Minas Gerais (the General Mines), whose economic development resulted from the deposits of gold and diamonds, at the cost of the dislocation of the indigenous population who had lived there for centuries, and of African slave labour. During this period the activities of a large number of singers, instrumentalists, composers, music masters and their pupils can be documented, demand for their abilities stemming largely from the many religious feast days and ceremonies financed by religious, governmental and even lay institutions. In this essay I will deal with an important aspect of urban music in Brazil concerning the diocesan chapelmasters, those who were responsible for music in the cathedrals and mother or parish churches in cities and towns. They certainly did not form the majority of musicians, for among the thousands active in Brazil in the eighteenth century, only a few dozen were employed in the position of diocesan chapelmaster; however, analysis of their situation reveals various aspects important for understanding the structure of Brazilian musical practice in that period.